Stay for Tea

Category: food and cooking

Pkhali (Georgian beet salad)


Pkhali (ფხალი) is a Georgian appetizer that is somewhere between a salad and a spread. While the recipe I’m sharing here is made with beets, pkhali can also be made with spinach, cabbage, or green beans, for instance. It’s great when spread on a slice of country bread, or as a side dish. I’ve slightly modified the recipe from the one my mother follows by replacing mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.

So on this here map, you can see Azerbaijan right on the Caspian sea, which is where I spent some of my childhood, and its neighbor is Georgia. The climate is about the same: temperate and subtropical, with dry plains and lush mountains here or there, getting milder as you border the sea. Two other items from Georgian cuisine that I absolutely love: khachapuri, which is a cheese filled leavened bread, and kharcho, a spicy and garlicky tomato based beef stew.

What else can I tell you about Georgia? I’ve never been unfortunately, but there were a lot of people from Georgia living in Azerbaijan when I was a kid. I love the country’s folk music, and some of my favorite Soviet-era films were directed by Georgi Daneliya, who was born in Tbilisi.

Oh yeah, you probably want the recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

Inn at the Crossroads: a food blog to be reckoned with

If you like good food and Game of Thrones, you need to drop everything you’re doing and visit the Inn at the Crossroads blog. I found out about the blog via a write up on Gilt Taste, and I’m immediately hooked.

A pair of inspired chefs who happen to adore George R.R. Martin’s epic series recreate recipes from the books, take sumptuous photos, and encourage readers to use their recipes and share the experience. On a recent book tour, “agents” presented George R.R. Martin with baskets full of goodies like beef & bacon pies and lemoncakes in several of the tour’s cities.

Medieval Mushroom & Escargot Soup

Fig Tarts – I need these NOW

I can’t wait to try out the Sister’s Stew, but will avoid the list of dishes that even the intrepid Innkeepers won’t touch.

(both photos by the Inn at the Crossroads)

Not so much a problem, as a habit

this is just a random sample

So, I may have a slight problem with buying cookbooks. This is just a random sampling, including some of the more recently acquired ones (like the Momofuku book). Trust me, there is a lot more where that came from. I just can never resist. At bookstores, after periodicals and new fiction and sci-fi releases, I almost always gravitate towards the food and cooking sections.

The problem lies in the fact that a lot of these I haven’t even had a chance to try out. So I decided that you all will hold me accountable. Once or twice a month, I will take one of the cookbooks I have and I will pick a random recipe from it to try out. Then I will share the result of the recipe here with you, as well as a capsule review of the book. Coming up this week, just to get the ball rolling, my thoughts on Elena Makhonko’s Russian Food & Cooking, which provided three of the recipes for my fancy dinner earlier this year.

What books, or other items, are you simply unable to resist, buying them just to own? How do you curate and resist the urge to collect more than you need?